Morihei Ueshiba

Founder of martial art Aikido.

Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was born in Japan on December 14, 1883. As a boy, he was weak and made up his mind to study martial arts. He practised almost all the existing martial arts, beginning with kito-ryo jujitsu, yagyu-ryu, aioi-ryu, hozoin-ryu and finally daito-ryu. He studied under many teachers—wandering Japan with a bokken until he found someone superior to him. He stopped and absorbed all that he could and then moved on. Morihei Ueshiba also pursued spiritual studies — as a child he studied Zen under Mitsujo Fujimoto of the Shigon School of Buddhism. He later embraced the Shinto sect Omoto-kyo founded by Wanisaburo Deguchi. By combining his martial training with his religious and political ideologies, Ueshiba created the modern martial art of aikido. Ueshiba decided on the name “aikido” in 1942 (before that he called his martial art “aikibudo” and “aikinomichi”).